The Three Early 2019 NFL Win Total Over/Under Bets Jumping Out At Me…
I’m still loading roster information from the NFL Draft and the UDFAs, debating the scenarios on the roster and the expected ‘starters’, and rolling that into analyzing what might happen for the season ahead.
I realize it is pure insanity to think you can run computer models right now, and just see the future perfectly…beyond the fact that a key injury to one player will have all kinds of ripple effects. However, what I do like…is running the models to see what teams just fly off the screen – what are the teams that, in our vision/system, have a +/- 3 wins differential compared to the Vegas odds right now. Once, I see those teams/candidates -- I look them over to try to understand if we have something hot here.
All I need is one. Just one great bet to put my weight behind. I will bet on a few teams to diversify my portfolio, but my main bets will be confined to 1-2 teams, usually. Last year, Bears-Bengals-Saints for main bets, with most of it riding on the Bears starting in May 2018. We got them all except Cincy, which looked in the bag early in the season…until a late season collapse left them one loss from tying the O/U number.
If you’ve been with our website for a while, you know this (win total over/under) is where we tend to shine for handicapping. I have run approx. 60%-52%-68%-51% the past four seasons betting specific games week-to-week…week-to-week is very difficult vs. the spread to master. 2017 was my greatest year of handicapping week-to-week, and then 2018 started OK, fell to even, and struggled to get back a little ahead on a pure win-loss basis, but with the vig, I barely broke even or lost on week-to-week bets in 2018.
However, we’ve been profitable on our over/under basket of bets for several years now, once I started getting into it deeper – running 70%+ hit rate over the past few years. A lot of people follow my o/u picks, so after running simulation version 1.0 of the 2019 season, according to my data/vision and with the schedule impact, I wanted to share the three teams in our system showing with three or more higher/lower wins than the current Vegas line.
I am still contemplating and researching the rosters/schedules, but I don’t think these top three O/Us are going away/turning bad upon future research. Whether they stay top three, etc., we’ll see…but they are going to be strong options, I think, barring a major event/injury.
In order of the best first…
#1) The New York Jets under 7.5 wins (-110)
If you’re not with me on Sam Darnold being one of the three weakest starting QBs in the NFL, then you’re not going to be with me here. My take on the Jets – weak QB, overrated head coach…a so-so offense with a ‘meh’ transitioning defense from Todd Bowles-style. It’s not a very good team…and hasn’t been a good team since Rex Ryan had his miracle run with them a decade ago. It’s a bad organization a la the Browns of the past decade+.
This is a flimsy team that I don’t see getting to 7 wins (our current projection = 4 wins). I think part of the hope FOR them is people thinking them facing Miami and Buffalo 4x is very favorable. I think Buffalo is a good ‘bad’ team who will go over .500 this season, with a top 5 defense and easier schedule. Miami stinks, but is tough to beat at Miami. You have to figure the Pats win both games vs. the Jets. Let’s say the Jets go 2-4 in the AFC East, at best. They would then need six wins outside the division in their 10 other games just to beat the 7.5 mark.
If Buffalo goes to NYJ and beats them opening day, and I think they will…the Jets could lose seven in-a-row to start the season. Week 2 to Week 8 is: CLE-NE-BYE-PHI-DAL-NE-JAX…six legit playoff teams. The Jets are going to start in a hole, whether 0-7 or 2-5, etc.
Are there any obvious wins for NYJ outside of the division? Hosting NYG Week 10? Hosting OAK Week 12? Maybe a road win at Cincy.
If they need to not lose 5 games outside of the division (considering they will lose 4 in division) to get to 8 wins on the season -- they should/will be favored to lose tougher scheduled games to CLE, at PHI, DAL, NE, at JAC, at WAS, at BAL, PIT…eight likely losses there…eight games that they would have to win 4 of to have any chance at an 8-win season. Do you see 4 wins among those games?
#2) The Jacksonville Jaguars over 8 wins (+100)
This may be my favorite bet of the group, for a number of reasons (the +100 helps) – and I’m going deeper on this one with someone for a longer, more detailed piece to come, so I won’t go too far here. But…
You know I love Nick Foles, and that’s just a part of this. You’re taking a near Super Bowl team from 2017-18 and giving them an upgrade at the one thing they lacked that great 2017 run and during the 2018 collapse…a real QB. Blake Bortles was an abomination. Paying up for Foles shows me they aren’t totally lost in the front office.
They have a great defensive foundation, ASSUMING Jalen Ramsey is back. If they ditch him, then I take this down a peg or two. Ramsey-Bouye is part of the magic here. Great defense…Leonard Fournette having to prove he’s worth a pending big contract…Foles…finishing last in the division in 2018, so that the 2019 schedule is sweet/easier…the entire O-Line injured last year, now back…and X-factor is rookie QB Gardner Minshew takes a ton of risk off if Foles goes down for any reason.
Outside of the division, they have CIN-NYJ-TB-OAK-CAR on the schedule. If they go 3-3 in division and win four of those 5 cupcake games just noted…we got 8 wins in 11 games. We need one more in the other five to hit the 9-mark.
I think the Jags have a chance at being the AFC’s #1 seed, so eight wins should be pretty achievable.
#3) The Carolina Panthers under 8 wins (-120)
I feel like this may be the strongest play, but I hate the -120 buy …nitpicking it in (on the current odds I grabbed for use in this piece).
I’m not radically anti-Carolina, but where you have Norv Turner…you have a downfall potential. The last time Norv was the O-C for a top 10 offense in the NFL (by points scored) was in 1993 with Dallas. Only a scant 26 years ago. 27 seasons in the NFL as HC or OC…ten top 10 finishes on offensive scoring. Minus the Jimmy Johnson years, Norv is top 10 offensively seven out of his last 24 seasons as a coach. Sweet.
It’s not all about Norv…it’s the brutal schedule in 2018. Norv just helps push Carolina downward…
11 of 16 games this season with teams who made the playoffs in 2017 or 2018 or both. They also face at Arizona and at San Fran as two games with non-recent playoff teams…but should be very tough road games on paper. The schedule is begging last year’s 7-9 team, which lost seven of it’s last 8 games to win about 4-5 games this year.
You go look at their schedule and find me 8 wins. Their post-BYE schedule is brutal, and Cam is aging and the whole vibe there seems dim…like the end of their era/window and time to reboot after this season. I like Carolina’s roster OK, and they have a solid enough head coach and ownership…this is just a bad draw of a schedule for 2019 driving the bus as much as anything.